FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 17, 2014
PROJECT A.N.T. KICKS OFF ANOTHER YEAR PROTECTING FLORIDA STATE PARKS
~Project A.N.T. aims to defend Florida State Parks from invasive exotic plants~
Natural area at
Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound after AmeriCorps members removed a
large mass of “Pandanus,” an exotic plant native to Southern Asia.
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of
Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service and Florida Conservation Corps'
Project AmeriCorps Non-native plant Terminators (Project A.N.T.) kicked
off Monday, Feb. 17 with 50 full-time members continuing the battle against invasive
exotic plants at more than 25 state parks from Pensacola to North Miami.
Through December, Project A.N.T. members will each contribute 1,700 hours to their host state park, focusing on the treatment and removal of invasive exotic plants while educating the local citizens about how they can help keep these habitat-damaging plants out of state parks.
“Project A.N.T. members are a vital part of natural resource management in Florida state parks,” said Donald Forgione, Director of the Florida Park Service. “These dedicated individuals are helping restore habitats by treating the infestations of invasive exotic plants and they are working to prevent future growth by engaging park visitors in this important battle.”
In 2013, Project A.N.T. members treated more than 10,000 acres in state parks while recruiting 2,273 new volunteers to help with the cause and educating more than 12,000 people about the importance of preserving and restoring Florida habitats. The program hopes to surpass these accomplishments in 2014, continuing the hands-on work and outreach that is necessary to help restore and protect Florida’s ecosystems and habitats.
Project A.N.T. members will be hosted at the following state parks in 2014:
For more information about the Florida Conservation Corps, visit http://www.floridastateparks.org/getinvolved/flcc.cfm.